16 Nov KASHRUS QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK WITH RABBI MOSHE ELEFANT
May I use a warming drawer on Shabbos?
Warming drawers on Shabbos is indeed a serious issue. There are a number of things to consider. First of all, you have to make sure that if you’re putting cold food into the warming drawer, that food can’t become yad soledes bo. That means 120 degrees. So if your warming drawer can heat your food to that point, then you have a problem. If it’s not able to do that, there is much more room to be lenient, especially if the food is completely cooked and dry. So my basic answer for you is, if the food is completely cooked and dry and can’t really get to yad soledes bo, it’s fine. There is one other consideration, and that is the dial. When we have a blech on our stove on Shabbos, we’re not just supposed to cover the fire, we’re also supposed to cover the dial. So, if there’s a way to cover the dial, or even better just take out the dial, that would be good. If not, you should put a piece of tape over the dial as a reminder to not, chas v’shalom, move it on Shabbos or Yom Tov.
What bracha do you make on wraps?
Rabbi Belsky zt”l and Rabbi Hershel Schechter both paskan that one should say Hamotzi on wraps. The only time they were lenient, which is not very relevant, is if you’re eating a plain wrap with nothing in it. In general, there’s another factor you should take into consideration. That’s why we at the OU don’t certify what is sold as mezonos rolls. If you’re kovea seuda, which means that you’re turning it into a whole meal, even if it’s a mezonos for example, eating a tremendous amount of cake to where it would be a meal, you would have to make hamotzi on the cake. Certainly something like a mezonos roll or a wrap, if you’re making it into a meal for your lunch, aside from the fact that a wrap has the qualities of hamotzi, it should be hamotzi. That’s why we won’t allow the companies that make the airline meals that we certify to put on the wrapper of the roll that it’s mezonos. We get a lot of pushback for this, but we feel halachically that there is no compromise on this.